04.05.2011 20 °C
After the shell shock of Albania we definitely needed someplace a little more beautiful to re-invigorate the senses. Lefkada Island is off the west coast of northern Greece and seemed to offer a few days of tranquility. Again we were a little early for the season so the place seemed like it was mostly ours but the landscape was very nice. The beach camping sites offer the usual crystal clear water and although the water was cold it didn't stop us from diving in. The small township of Lefkada is a bustling centre of restaurants and tourist shops but not bad for an afternoon. The best thing I found was the Greek favourite, Gyros. A Gyros is a flat bread filled with meat, sauce, a small bit of salad and chips. Couple that with a Heineken and you have the perfect meal for under six Euro. Best way to describe it... a posh kebab. We spent a couple of days on the island and then headed for the ancient centre of the universe... Delphi.
Delphi was once considered the centre of the universe where the Gods ascended into the heavens and anyone wishing to speak to Apollo or seeking councel did so at Delphi through the Oracle. The Oracle was a woman who would appear to be in a delirious state and would answer questions from any number of kings and rulers such as Alexander the great and the Spartans. This advice was taken very seriously. The Oracle would be chosen from any number of priestess' and provided she was up to the task, was given the role. Once chosen the oracle she would sit over a crack in the ground in the temple of Apollo and listen to the questions and speak through a trance like state like a medium. It has been suggested that methane gas would escape from the crack over the ground and the oracle was effectively stoned when giving advice to the world leaders. Probably not too far removed from today's leadership advice. The oracle would change from time to time especially since some of them would run off with the world leaders or their advice just wasn't up to scratch anymore. The chants were often cryptic so people would interpret them as they sought. Probably like a modern day fortune teller asking you if you are friendly and artistic.. of course you are ..amazing. Just hear what you want to hear. The site itself is worthy of being classed a wonder of the world. Perched high on the mountains you would definitely feel close to the Gods. In the distance is the harbour town of Itea where the boat loads of worshippers would begin their pilgrimage to Delphi. It must have taken days which would have added to the excitement. Delphi would have been a thriving town complete with it's own Gym and stadium, treasury building and numerous temples and houses. Clearly a place for the elite. The marble statues that must have adorned the place would have nearly outnumbered the residents. One thing about the statues.. none of them have their willy's on. Some one somewhere must have a whole box of them stored, there really should be something done about it. A restoration project perhaps. We spent a few days mixing with the Gods until moving on to Athens.